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Paul Pierce's Legacy

Two articles talking about Paul Pierce's legacy.

Adrian Wojnarowski:

Before the season, Boston debated on whether Pierce’s number would ever dangle in the Garden rafters. Only champions hang in the Garden. The Basketball Hall of Fame hung in doubt, too. Now, his decade in Boston is so close to its validation. One more victory, a Finals MVP over Kobe Bryant, and Pierce, in the minds of most, will have made the improbable thirtysomething NBA journey as a player from good to great.

Bill Simmons:

To Pierce for playing two really good games (Game 1 and Game 2), one stinker (Game 3), one ESPN Classic Special (Game 4) and one jaw-dropper (Game 5). He lifted himself to another level in those last two games, willing himself to the basket time and time again (shades of MJ in the '98 playoffs) and playing some of the greatest defense that has ever been played against Kobe Bryant. He also carried himself with a remarkable level of composure, refusing to get riled up by bad calls or roped into a senseless trash-talking duel with Kobe.

In Game 6 against Detroit, after Bennett Salvatore's horrendous offensive-foul call that erased a potential four-point play for Pierce, what stood out more than anything was the way Pierce handled the whole thing. As recently as three seasons ago, he would have griped about the call, made a few faces, gotten T'ed up and let the whole sequence take him out of his game. In Detroit? He shook his head in disbelief, shook it off and took out his frustrations on the Pistons. I have been watching him for 10 solid years; in my opinion, that specific moment transformed the ceiling of his career from "just another good player" to "someone good enough to be the best player on a title team."